Chester cyclists were very upset when the canal towpath route through the city was closed on 21st November 2017. The towpath is a safe, direct, attractive and traffic-free route for both commuting and leisure cyclists, and its closure has been keenly felt.
At the time of the closure the Chester Cycling Campaign spoke to the Canal and River Trust and to Cheshire West and Chester staff. We learned that the Canal and River Trust closed the towpath following a risk assessment which showed that there were some big blocks of sandstone above the towpath which were loose and which were regarded as a potential risk to towpath users. As a result, the towpath was shut indefinitely.
However, no work has started on the repairs as the Canal and River Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council have been in a dispute over who should pick up the bill for the necessary work on the rock face. Canal towpath users, including the Cycling Campaign, have been pressing the relevant parties to resolve their dispute and to take urgent action to reopen this much loved and heavily used route through the city.
In November 2018, one year after the towpath closure, a member of the Chester Cycling Campaign, Craig Steeland, and our local MP, Chris Matheson, spoke out publicly regarding the growing frustration about the continued closure in an interview for BBC Radio Merseyside. The Campaign is grateful to Phil McCann, the BBC Radio Political Reporter for Cheshire, for making the recording below available for our use on this website.
The Campaign will continue its efforts to bring about the reopening of the canal towpath in the interests of all local cyclists.